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Pregnancy and medical advice

 

  • It is most important to listen to the advice of the doctor following your health during pregnancy - Most will tell you it's ok to travel during pregnancy, but each situation is different.
  • Your doctor, midwife or consultant can advise you if you have any conditions which make long journeys or any other travel inadvisable.
  • Once you are pregnant, tiredness, morning sickness and the increased chance of miscarriage during the early weeks can make long journeys very uncomfortable.
  • If you have a condition affecting your heart, blood or a risk of pre-term labour, consult with your doctor before planning to travel at any time during the pregnancy.
  • If you planned a trip before you knew you were expecting, discuss with your doctor the date you are booked to go, how long you will be away, what modes of transport you plan to use, and whether or not you need any vaccinations.
  • Also discuss travel with your partner - if you are within a month of your due date – this is not a good time for either of you to travel.
  • Do not drive if you suffer from serious toxicosis, motion of a car makes you sick or any smells, especially chemical ones, disconcert you. During the trip you may experience petrol vapour and exhaust acutely, which can cause headaches, giddiness and even fainting.
  • Do not drive if you are too excitable and irritable – this might lead to a high probability of your unequal behavior while driving.
  • Don't drive yourself to hospital when you are in labour.
  • If you know there won't be anyone to drive you to hospital when you go into labour, discuss this with your midwife in advance.
  • If you find when the big moment comes, that your partner cannot be there to drive you, call the hospital if it seems that an emergency ambulance is needed.
  • Different stages of pregnancy and driving

Best advice is to discuss this with your doctor – we would suggest the following:

  • Travel during pregnancy can be fatiguing and frustrating, but if your pregnancy is normal, you should be able to travel during the first and second trimesters without too many adjustments.
  • Remember you are pregnant when you plan a trip -be sensible in your planning, and take it easy.
  • Between 14 and 28 weeks, you might feel better and be more confident about your pregnancy and plans to travel.
  • If you're you’re experiencing difficulties such as bleeding or cramping, don't travel.
  • Problems with swelling, traveling, sitting in a car or doing a lot of walking may be uncomfortable.
  • If your pregnancy is considered high risk, a long trip during pregnancy is just not a good idea.
  • Don't plan a trip during your last month of pregnancy - Consult your physician if you plan to travel during your third trimester.  
  • If you have not had any problems with your pregnancy and there are no medical reasons such as dizziness which might have made your doctor or obstetrician advise against driving, then it is up to you and how you feel. 
  • In the third trimester, labor could begin at any time, your water could break or other problems could occur. Your doctors’ knowledge and records of what has happened during your pregnancy are important.  
  • If you check into a hospital in a strange place, they don't know you and you don't know them. Some doctors won't accept you as a patient in this situation, and it can be awkward. It is not worth taking a chance.  
  • By the time you reach the latter stages of your pregnancy, your growing bump may pose a bit of a problem - if your bump has got huge, it’s likely to be very close to the steering wheel, which isn’t comfortable.  
  • If you have a partner - get your partner to drive instead – and you can sit back and enjoy being driven!

Wearing of seatbelt while pregnant

  • Many pregnant ladies complain that safety belts create additional discomfort and are confused about wearing seat belts and shoulder harnesses during pregnancy.
  • They wonder if wearing the restraints over their abdomen could cause a problem.  
  • Restraints are however necessary during pregnancy, just as they are necessary when you're not pregnant.  
  • Seat-belt use is so important that the National Highway Safety Administration has designed a "pregnant" crash-test dummy. The dummy is used in simulated car crashes to record how an accident could affect a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.  
  • There is no evidence that use of safety restraints increases the chance of foetal or uterine injury.  
  • You have a better chance of survival in an accident wearing a seat belt than not wearing one.  
  • Safety belt won`t bring harm to your baby, which is encircled with amniotic fluid from all sides. It protects him from strong blows, which are dangerous for the foetus.  
  • No matter what the stage of your pregnancy, it is vital that you always wear a seat belt.  
  • By wearing a seat belt you are protecting yourself and your unborn baby in the event of a crash.
  • Remember that it is illegal not to wear a seat belt unless you have a current certificate signed by a medical practitioner exempting you due to medical reasons.  
  • All pregnant women must wear seat belts by law when travelling in cars. This applies to both front and back seats - pregnancy does not in itself automatically provide exemption from the law. 
  • Wearing a seatbelt reduces the injury risk to your unborn baby by up to 70%.  
  • Even if your own injuries are slight in a crash, there is still a risk of losing your baby. Wearing a seatbelt reduces this risk.  
  • People who don't wear a seatbelt can injure other people in the vehicle as well as themselves in a crash

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